It was in the late spring of 2002 that I became hooked on Pugs. Today I’m still hooked on Pugs…and guess I always will be, thanks to SEPRA!
My journey to becoming a devoted Pug fan began just after my 13-year-old black Labrador Kado passed away. I was devastated over the loss as Kado was such a devoted friend and companion. I wanted another dog, but I just couldn’t see getting another Lab – the thought of replacing Kado was difficult as there would never be another like him. I knew I wasn’t interested in raising a puppy and that so many adult dogs needed homes, so I began researching adoption and rescue websites.
Growing up I had had a beautiful brindle and white Bulldog, whose “smooshed in” face I really loved. Inspired by the memory of my Bulldog with the “smooshed in” face, I began checking out a few Pug rescue sites and soon discovered the Southeast Pug Rescue and Adoption (SEPRA) website featuring its Missouri chapter. I found myself back at the website just a few days later and noticed a cute little black Pug. Instantly I thought: “That’s him! That’s the face! That’s the one!”
So I sent off my application that very same day and was contacted before the day was over. While the adoption process was seamless, I have to admit that the waiting was the most difficult part! One week after the initial contact, a SEPRA rep visited my home. She was so friendly and passionate about Pugs. (During the course of that first conversation, we even realized that we had one of those “it’s such a small-world” St. Louis connections.) One week after she visited my home, I was allowed to pick up my cute little black Pug, whom I named Wally.
Wally was a wonderful, funny guy – each and every day he made me smile NO matter what! He had the personality of a 90lb dog in a 19lb body, didn’t know a stranger and was loved by so many friends and family. He had been turned in to the organization as a stray and so we never knew his history, but we did find that he had a few special needs. No problem! That made him even more special to me! All in all, we had nine fun-filled Pug years, but wow oh wow this time it was even more difficult to get over the loss.
It took nearly two years for me to fully recover from the loss of Wally, but once I felt better I found myself back at the SEPRA website once again. This time, however, I had someone else to consider in my life -- my husband Dave. Both Dave and I decided that we’d be patient and wait for a younger adult Pug. But after a few visits to SEPRA’s website, I saw Ollie – a beautiful fawn Pug. After a very brief discussion with Dave, I sent in our application with great anticipation. Once again, the adoption process was extremely smooth – but of course the waiting is always difficult! In less than two weeks, Ollie’s foster mom Gina made arrangements to bring Ollie over for a home visit. Here’s where I was surprised: Wally and I had always been very attached, so naturally I assumed that Ollie would immediately attach himself to me. Wrong! No more than Gina walked out the door did Ollie jump up on Dave’s lap and the rest they say, ‘is history.’
Unlike Wally, Ollie came with a little background information – he’s approximately three years old and is another ‘big dog’ in a small body. In fact, I call him the Pugador. He accompanies us on most of our adventures and loves anything outdoors, especially being in the woods!! We take him hiking with us and we’ve taken him in our canoe fishing with us. We even have a travel trailer in which to go camping and when he sees us packing to go – he’s laying on top of our bags!
It’s amazing to me how much Ollie loves being on the water. Although I'm not sure about the swimming part, he now has a life jacket just for my peace of mind! When he’s not being a natural out on the water, Ollie is always up for a car ride, helping us work outside in the yard or just hanging out on the deck. He's learned to use the Pug-door (a doggie door) to go out onto the deck at his leisure (we've blocked off the steps so that he can't wander). Many days he likes to go out on his own and lounge in the sun, but now with the colder temps he prefers the sunny spots inside the house! He’s a smart little Pug.
Dave and I have commented to each other several times over the last few months how fortunate and lucky we feel to have such a wonderful Pug in Ollie. He is truly a wonderful guy. We are deeply grateful for all that SEPRA does and for all of its wonderful volunteers. Thank you very much for all the Pug joy you have brought into our lives!